Axeman’ Walters confident of victory against Lomachenko
"Lomachenko is a very good boxer, and I respect him as the champion, but I am going to beat him tonight, take his title, and become a World champion again, said Jamaica's Nicholas 'The Axeman' Walters to THE STAR yesterday, as he prepared himself mentally, for his title clash tonight at the Hotel Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, against Vasyl Lomachenko, the World Boxing Organisation(WBO) super featherweight champion.
This is expected to be a "Clash of the Titans" as both men are regarded the best in the division. Both have exceptional boxing skills, power in both hands and confidence in their abilities. They are both proud of their achievements, and see each other as stepping stones to greatness.
They have, however, followed different paths. Walters had a short and modest amateur career with no major achievements, while Lomachenko, who is from Ukraine, had a spectacular journey in the amateur ranks.
Lomachenko had 397 bouts, losing only once, and in the process won two gold medals, each in the Olympic Games and the World Boxing Championships. He had five victories in semi-professional bouts put on by AIBA, and then became a pro on October 12, 2013. His second fight was for the World Boxing Organisation featherweight title, and he lost on points to Orlando Salido. In his next fight against Gary Russell Jr. for the same title, which was then vacant, he won and became champion, a phenomenal achievement. In only his seventh professional fight he later won the WBO super featherweight title by knocking out champion Roman Martinez, and it is this title that he will defend tonight. He has a 6-1 record with four knockouts.
Walters has had a great career as a pro, and the only glitch cost him a lot. He failed to make the weight on June 12, 2015, for his World Boxing Association (WBA) featherweight Super title on June 13, 2015, and lost the title on the scale. He went on to defeat his challenger Miguel Marriaga on points, and in his last fight on December 12, 2015, he was held to a draw by Jason Sosa. This was a fight that most people believed that Walters won. His record is 26-0-1 and he has won 21 of his fights inside the distance.
He told THE STAR yesterday, that he was wary about allowing the judges to make the decision for him, and he would therefore try to win by knockout if the opportunity presents itself.
"I am going out there to fight. Lomchenko has never fought anyone like me and I am going to test him. I hope that he comes to fight and that I will not have to chase him all over the ring. It will be a great fight."
Lomachenko has been very dismissive of Walters, and said yesterday, that he expects the first four round to be competitive, after which he will take over. It should be a very exciting encounter, with the two best man in the division exchanging punches, and a lucrative world title as the main prize.
Boxing fans are in for a treat.